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MLB Betting Trends: Orioles Most Profitable, Angels Least Profitable, Plus More Notes From the First Half

MLB Betting Trends: Orioles Most Profitable, Angels Least Profitable, Plus More Notes From the First Half article feature image

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Adley Rutschman

Congratulations, baseball bettors! We’ve reached the midway point of the MLB season. That means we’re halfway through this “Labor of Love” that is committing money to this sport.

To commemorate the first half and look forward to the second, I wanted to analyze the most unusual, profitable and avoidable betting trends from the season so far, while looking into whether following or fading those would be strong indicators of things to come.

My biggest helper in this analysis was the Action Network’s Sports Insights subscriptions, which allowed me to build the systems you’ll read about below. Action’s Bet Labs has the data and tools to analyze historical betting trends from every possible angle.

Unusual Trends

Mets Following One Day Off

The Mets are having a killer season, one of the best in recent memory. Their 58-38 record is the best in MLB save the Yankees and Dodgers, and their +86 run differential trails only those two and the Astros.

One reason why is the Mets are 13-1 after precisely one day off.

While winning teams will often win more in any situational spot, the Mets have been particularly profitable after a day off. They’ve won six more games after a day off than any other team and are up the most units in the spot.

Team Spot Record Profit (Units) ROI
Seattle Mariners 44743 +7.18 89.7%
Kansas City Royals 44744 +5.83 64.8%
Boston Red Sox 44744 +4.57 50.8%

However, the Mets have played the most games after a day off. We could also see regression in these games going forward, just because no baseball team wins 92% of the time.

The Mets have two games off one-day rest for the rest of the month (7/26 vs NYY, 7/29 vs MIA) and three in August (8/12 vs PHI, 8/25 vs COL, 8/30 vs LAD).

Home Teams are Getting Crushed

On average, home teams win about 54% of the time, and that number sits at 53.6% since 2010. However, that number has dropped to just 52% this season, and it’s resulted in an interesting split.

Team Spot Record Profit (Units) ROI
Home 719-663 -91.42 -6.6%
Away 663-719 -22.94 -1.7%

Home teams have started to come around, and they’ve been profitable since the calendar flipped to July. I’d expect a few more home wins down the stretch, but I’m not sure it’s a trend worth following considering both home and away teams will lose juice throughout a season.

Heavy Under Trends

There were plenty of “conspiracy” theories about how the juiced-or-not-juiced balls and the humidors would affect play this season. I am not here to comment on that.

However, I do know that unders were hot to start 2022. If you had bet every single MLB under between Opening Day (April 7th) and April 30th, you would’ve gone 181-123-13 for 42.5 units of profit.

Therefore, like the home-road betting trends split I mentioned earlier, we get a similarly interesting over-under split for this season. 

Team Spot Record Profit (Units) ROI
Over 635-688-60 -107.34 -7.8%
Under 688-635-60 -7.18 -0.5%

But books adjusted and baseball quickly returned to normal. Overs started hitting so the juice stabilized and books balanced their bottom line.

We should see a relatively normal split as the season continues.

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The Underdog Report

To the gratification of squares everywhere, underdogs have gotten crushed this season.

Now, favorites haven’t been profitable either, due to the juice. But this has been one of the bigger favorites-underdog splits in recent memory at the halfway point:

Team Spot Record Profit (Units) ROI
Favorite 828-554-1 -24.68 -1.8%
Underdog 554-828-1 -89.68 -6.5%

During that time, a few teams have been particularly profitable:

Team Underdog Record Profit (Units) ROI
Baltimore Orioles 40-44 +11.85 14.1%
San Diego Padres 16-14 +5.19 17.3%
Texas Rangers 26-29 +4.05 7.4%
New York Yankees 44652 +3.79 75.8%
Philadelphia Phillies 18-19 +3.75 10.1%

Obviously the top underdog team is the remarkably consistent Baltimore Orioles, who I will touch on later.

I find it impressive the Yankees have managed to come out on top in four of their five underdog opportunities. They dismantled the Blue Jays 9-1 at +117 ML and the White Sox 15-7  at +125 ML in early May, and most recently beat the Blue Jays again (4-0) at +129 ML

The Yankees’ only underdog loss this season came against the Tampa Bay Rays. All-Star Game starter Shane McClanahan dealt seven innings of one-run ball at The Trop to cause Yankees +100 ML backers one of few losses this year.

Most Profitable Teams

Ladies and Gentlemen, your most profitable team in the first half of the 2022 season is the remarkable Baltimore Orioles:

Of course, most of this was fueled by a 10-game win streak the O’s put together right before the half – the club’s longest winning streak since 1999. But these Birds have quietly put together a decent regular season.

Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays, Ramon Urias, Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander and Trey Mancini have all put together an OPS+ over 100 during the season to fuel a league-average lineup. And in the meanwhile, the O’s bullpen ranks fourth in reliever ERA (3.08) and 10th in reliever xFIP (3.74).

This group has been scrappy all season. Baltimore went profitable on May 22nd and never looked back.

Here are MLB’s top-five most profitable teams this year: 

Team Record Profit (Units) ROI
Baltimore Orioles 46-46 +14.37 15.6%
New York Mets 58-35 +9.93 10.7%
New York Yankees 64-28 +8.84 9.6%
Houston Astros 59-32 +7.10 7.8%
Seattle Mariners 50-42 +6.19 6.7%

Least Profitable Teams

On the other hand, the least profitable team in the first half of the 2022 MLB season is the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels put together their own impressive streak, losing 14 straight games between late May and early June.

Outside of Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, this roster has nothing. Anthony Rendon is hurt, the bullpen is a mess, and Noah Syndergaard has not been the pitcher who was promised.

In fact, the Angels haven’t won games when Ohtani isn’t putting together masterful double-digit strikeout performances.

Los Angeles Angels since June 3

When Shohei Ohtani pitches: 5-0 record

When anybody else pitches: 6-20 record

— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) July 7, 2022

Here are MLB’s five least profitable teams so far: 

Team Record Profit (Units) ROI
Los Angeles Angels 39-53 -22.72 -24.7%
Washington Nationals 31-63 -21.35 -22.7%
Chicago Cubs 35-57 -15.84 -17.2%
Oakland Athletics 32-61 -15.68 -16.9%
Cincinnati Reds 34-57 -11.88 -13.1%


Biggest Over Teams

The biggest over team this season has been the Cincinnati Reds.

It’s simple: The Reds have a half-decent lineup but back it up with a pitching staff filled with nobodies.

I’m slightly low on this trend moving forward. Luis Castillo has come into his own, seeing tons of positive year-over-year regression while tossing a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game. Plus, Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft have shown promise while Tyler Mahle will be returning from the IL soon.

Here are a few other profitable over teams this year, but it’s not a long list given the league-wide under trends.

Team Over Record Profit (Units) ROI
Cincinnati Reds 49-40-2 +4.54 5%
Toronto Blue Jays 48-42-2 +2.54 2.8%
New York Mets 47-41-5 +2.12 2.3%

Biggest Under Teams

The Astros have been hitting unders at an absurd rate.

What’s incredible is that most of this success is on the road. The Astros have gone into opposing teams’ stadiums and shut them down, pitching to a 3.16 ERA while their wRC+ drops 18 points on the road compared to home (123 to 105).

As a result, the Astros are hitting unders on the road at close to a 67% rate.

It might be worth fading this trend moving forward. While the Astros have the second-best road ERA, they pair it with the 17th-best road xFIP (4.13). The pitching is due for regression while the lineup will still mash.

Plus, there’s no reason to continue to bank on Hoston unders moving forward. The team has basically been 50% to both sides of the total since we hit June.

Here are a few other big under teams on the season:

Team Under Record Profit (Units) ROI
Houston Astros 56-32-3 +18.65 20.5%
Detroit Tigers 54-35-3 +14.50 15.8%
Oakland Athletics 51-37-5 +9.20 9.9%
Los Angeles Dodgers 48-35-7 +8.97 10%

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